Last Updated on April 20, 2020

Wireless networks troubleshootingI loved wireless networks from the very first time I attempted to setup and use one. It was great, all computers in the office were connected, even the printer was shared, which was a kind of a “miracle” for those times. However, the joy didn’t last long, as the connection got intermittently lost, managing to drive everybody crazy in as little as a couple of days. As I barely had any idea about computers, networks and all that stuff, we asked for help. This is how I found out that the guilt for those signal interruptions belonged to a Windows XP service called Wireless Zero Configuration. This service is enabled by default in Windows XP, and it may behave strangely in case of transferring large files or streaming data from a server.

Disabling Wireless Zero Configuration fixes the issue, but if you do so and then shut down, your computer won’t recognize the wireless network anymore the next time you start it. If you choose to disable Wireless Zero Configuration, you need to install some other program to handle the wireless network adapter. If you have a CD with drivers and applications for your wireless network card, you need to install it. Everything should then work properly.

However, if you don’t have the installation CD, you need to be creative and find another fix.

One idea is to only stop, not disable the Wireless Zero Configuration service, then repeat that each time you start your computer, after it finds the wireless network and connects to it. But who wants to do so many things each time he turns the computer on? The steps you need to follow are like this: click Start, then go to Control Panel, choose Performance and Maintenance, then select Administrative Tools, then Services. Then you need to double-click on Wireless Zero Configuration and click Stop on the General tab. I bet you’d get sick of this crazy routine in a matter on weeks, if not days.

Another idea that came up was to use the Wireless FiXP program. I suspect it’s not supported by the author anymore, as I wasn’t able to find it. It seems I was not the only one, so after some serious “googling”, I landed on the best replacement for Wireless FiXP.

The solution presented on the website I’ve just linked to is to make a batch file with the following content:

@echo off
net start "Wireless Zero Configuration"
ping -n 1
if errorlevel 1 goto retry
net stop "Wireless Zero Configuration"

This file needs to be saved in the Startup folder. This means it’s going to run each time you boot your computer. You can check to see if it really does the job, by accessing Services and taking a look at Wireless Zero Configuration, which should appear as “stopped”. If not, you might need to replace “Wireless Zero configuration” in the batch file with the exact name of the service such as “WZCSVC”. I’ve got this information from a comment on the original article. However, in my case, the file worked perfectly without needing the above mentioned change.